Game and Fish are investigating an incident in which a person reportedly shot and killed a grizzly in self-defense Tuesday on Sheep Mountain.

According to G&F officials, a person on the mountain southwest of Cody had a surprise encounter with a mother grizzly bear that morning, and said they shot the bear in self-defense.

Dan Smith, Cody Region wildlife supervisor, said the person involved reported the incident immediately after the surprise encounter with the sow and nearby cubs.

“We’re just glad there were no injuries,” Smith said.

G&F personnel investigated the scene to confirm the death of the adult female grizzly, but were unable to locate the cubs.

No information on the identity of the person is being released while the investigation is ongoing.

G&F has also dealt with four problem bears this year, two of which they had to put down due to repeat problems.

G&F biologist Luke Ellsbury said it’s been a relatively normal year for problem grizzlies.

“It’s probably about average right now,” he said. “May tends to be a period of high activity. But once elk calves are born, the grizzlies move up to hunt those.”

The most recent grizzly bear had been causing problems since 2009. The male was known to kill cattle in the Meeteetse area, and was caught because Ellsbury said he’d been frequenting the calving pasture at Turnell Cattle Company. He was put down in early April.

“We made the decision to capture him, but we didn’t know which bear it was,” he said. “Once we figured out he had a history with cattle, we made the decision to remove him.”

The other bear was caught in the Clark area and put down due to a history of killing cattle.

(10) comments


A bear is not a human. A bears life will never compare to a humans life. Bear numbers have increased and they are moving into areas that are going to have higher human conflicts. Unless they are managed these conflicts will continue to increase. There is nothing that says you must use bear spray. Unless you haven't noticed the wind usually blows in Cody and bear spray is not that great in the wind. Bears must be managed. They are no different than a skunk or a coyote!


Just wondering - exactly how many of these 500 lb furry killers do we need roaming Wyoming? Killing cattle and wildlife is what they do best. Not sure why so many think they should be “protected”. The bears seem to do a fine job of protecting themselves.


Sure are a lot of "experts" on here about what this person should have done! Too bad it wasn't them in this situation, just to see what they would have done!


There were injuries Dan Smith.
A mother is dead and her cubs will die.

Self defense, yeh we hear that all the time. Bear spray should be a law in bear country.
Seems now no females should be killed in the kill hunts this fall.


Find those cubs and get them food and sanctuary for goodness sake!!

Why was this person wandering around in bear country....with a gun big enough to kill a bear. Something is rotten in Denmark!


The article said nothing about this person carrying bear spray. Another female taken out of the population.


It looks like you now only need to hunt 20 grizzly bears since this sow was just taken out for no apparent reason other then that this person should have been carrying bear spray since you live in WY!!! DUH! Also now that the cubs will either die or be sent to a zoo no thanks to this person, that's 2 more down WY G&F!! Wake up people and get some comment sense, if you want to live in a place that has wildlife you need to coexist with them it's not that hard or you should move. I believe that you are all afraid of these bears spend some times learning about them instead of thinking that they are a threat to society and all you want to do is hang them on your wall. These bears need a voice since they can't speak for themselves. What if this was your mother??? So very sad to hear about this sow who was just trying to protect her cubs, just like a parent would protect there kids. Think about that people!

(Edited by staff.)


Wait a minute? Dan Smith said that no one was injured? What about the mother bear? She's dead. What about her cubs who are missing and will either stare to death, be euthanized or, best case scenario, be placed in a zoo for the rest of their lives because the state game and fish departments have never invested in grizzly bear rehabilitation back to the wild. So I would definitely say that injuries abounded.

As to the person who did the shooting, was that person following bear safety precautions for being out and about in bear country. It is not clear from the article whether they were hiking or hunting or whatnot. If so, they should have been carrying bear spray. They should have been in a group. They should have been making noise. Those are all precautions that Game & Fish teach to reduce unnecessary bear mortality. If this person wasn't following those guidelines, why not?


Looks to me like we need to increase the number of sows allowed verse reducing them.


It would be nice if the game and fish would listen to the hunting public who came to the grizz meeting in Cody. Let the hunters enter a draw, be put on a list like the buffalo hunters are. . .game and fish take the hunters in line one by one to the problem bears and allow the hunters to harvest them! That would be game and fish working with the people who want to see change, help our elk herds stop being diminished, see bear numbers reduced, and have a chance for a trophy animal!

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